Homeland accused of damaging relations between 'hostile' US and depicted countries
Iran, Lebanon and Venezuela have criticised 'poisonous' producers
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Monday 16 December 2013
While its audience may find Homeland’s plot twists and turns increasingly implausible, the award-winning drama is still sufficiently incendiary to damage relations between the US and Iran, according to a leading expert on the Middle East.
Fawaz Gerges, Emirates Chair of the Contemporary Middle East at the London School of Economics, told Hollywood news site The Wrap: “Homeland is poisonous to any attempt to bridge the divide between the two nations.”
The third series of the spy drama, which concluded on American screens on Sunday, focussed on a US plot to assassinate the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and to install a CIA mole in his place.
“The portrayal of Iran and Iranians as terrorists, as violent, as scheming, really enforces Iranians’ images of the United States as a hostile nation, as a nation that cannot be trusted,” Gerges said. “It’s not only harmful and insidious, but it does basically create and really enforce hostilities between the people of the two nations.”
The Lebanese government is reportedly weighing the possibility of legal action against Homeland’s producers for the show’s skewed depiction of Beirut during its second series. Lebanon’s minister of tourism told the Associated Press that Homeland had misrepresented the city as a “hotbed of violence”.
Meanwhile, Venezuela has complained about the portrayal of Caracas in a recent episode, which featured a skyscraper-turned-slum known as the Tower of David.
Diplomatic relations between the US and Venezuela are strained, and neither country has had an ambassador in the other’s capital since 2010.
In a statement issued to Foreign Policy magazine, the Venezuelan government asked, “What reasons might there be for Venezuela to appear in a show so openly supported by President Obama, and backed by the CIA? Are they preparing the American people to feel justified in some aggression against our country…? Only time will tell.”
Of Homeland’s Iran-themed plot, Alexander Cary, a writer and executive producer of the show, recently told the Evening Standard: “In the first season we wrote about a terrorist hit on America and hoped we weren’t right. In the second, we wrote about whether or not Israel would bomb Iran, and we were still hoping we weren’t right.
"This third season we discussed changing the dynamic between Iran and the West, and we weren’t even hoping either way, because we thought it just wasn’t on the books.”
A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend
A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 4 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
JK Rowling releases new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing Celestina Warbuck, the 'Singing Sorceress'
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermesiter and vodka
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 contestants: Meet Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney
Kate Bush: Previously unseen photographs reveal new side to comeback star
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict